Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Jan 18, 2021

Current Affair 1:
World Migration Report 2020

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Just see few images below. This is what you can remember and important, nothing more than this is required.

Current Affair 2:
Difficult four countries

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Chatham House has published a report proposing a blueprint for Britain’s future foreign policy after Brexit. Titled “Global Britain, Global Broker”, the report sketches a bold path ahead for the UK.

The report classed India as one of the “difficult four” countries along with China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

These are the Countries where citizens do not have the capacity to fight for their rights. The classification has been made by Chatham House, the century-old UK-based policy institute also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Why the report chose to characterise India as such?

Because of a critique of India’s domestic political developments. The report notes how “the overt Hindu nationalism of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is weakening the rights of Muslims and other minority religious groups, leading to a chorus of concern that intolerant majoritarianism is replacing the vision of a secular, democratic India bequeathed by Nehru”.


Current Affair 3:
5G Technology

Recently, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought inputs from telecom companies and other industry experts on the sale and use of radio frequency spectrum over the next 10 years, including the 5G (Fifth Generation) bands.

Features of 5G Technology -

Internet speed: In the high-band spectrum of 5G, internet speeds have been tested to be as high as 20 Gbps (gigabits per second) as compared to the maximum internet data speed in 4G recorded at 1 Gbps.

5G network speeds should have a peak data rate of 20 Gb/s for the downlink and 10 Gb/s for the uplink.

Upgraded LTE: 5G is the latest upgrade in the long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks.

Bands in 5G: 5G mainly work in 3 bands, namely low, mid and high frequency spectrum — all of which have their own uses as well as limitations.

Low band spectrum: It has shown great promise in terms of coverage and speed of internet and data exchange however the maximum speed is limited to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second).

Mid-band spectrum: It offers higher speeds compared to the low band, but has limitations in terms of coverage area and penetration of signals.

High-band spectrum: It has the highest speed of all the three bands, but has extremely limited coverage and signal penetration strength.

Millimetre wave spectrum: The 5G networks will operate in the millimetre wave spectrum (30-300 GHz) which have the advantage of sending large amounts of data at very high speeds because the frequency is so high, it experiences little interference from surrounding signals.

Hurdles in Rolling Out 5G Technology:

    1. Enabling critical infrastructures: 5G will require a fundamental change to the core architecture of the communication system. The major flaw of data transfer using 5G is that it can't carry data over longer distances. Hence, even 5G technology needs to be augmented to enable infrastructure.
    2. Financial liability on consumers: For transition from 4G to 5G technology, one has to upgrade to the latest cellular technology, thereby creating financial liability on consumers.
    3. Capital Inadequacy: Lack of flow of cash and adequate capital with the suitable telecom companies (like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea) is delaying the 5G spectrum allocation.

Utility of 5G Applications: Combined with IoT, cloud, big data, AI, and edge computing, 5G could be a critical enabler of the fourth industrial revolution.

For India: 5G networks could improve the accessibility of services such as mobile banking and healthcare, and enable exponential growth in opportunities for unemployed or underemployed people to engage in fulfilling and productive work. For this Government has rolled out enabling policies.

5G Enabling Policy:

India’s National Digital Communications Policy 2018 highlights the importance of 5G when it states that the convergence of a cluster of revolutionary technologies including 5G, the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, along with a growing start-up community, promise to accelerate and deepen its digital engagement, opening up a new horizon of opportunities.

It aims to reach 100% tele density, high-speed internet highways and delivery of citizen-centric services electronically.

Global Progress on 5G:

Global telecom companies have already started building 5G networks and rolling it out to their customers in many countries:

  1. 5G had been deployed in 50 cities in the United States.
  2. South Korea has rolled out 5G to 85 cities.
  3. Japan and China have too started 5G mobile service on a trial basis.

Current Affair 4:
Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)

A total of 1,949 children were adopted in the last six months, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) said recently.

Central Adoption Resource Authority

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.

It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.

CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.

CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.

How Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is related to CARA?

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has come into force from 15-January-2016 and repeals the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The JJ Act, 2015 provides for strengthened provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law.

To streamline adoption procedures for orphan, abandoned and surrendered children, the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively through this Act.

Current Affair 5:
Modified 1st Generation Ethanol Blending Programme

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The Department of Food & Public Distribution has modified earlier scheme & notified the modified scheme for extending financial assistance to project proponents for enhancement of their ethanol distillation capacity or to set up distilleries for producing 1st Generation (1G) ethanol from feed stocks such as cereals (rice, wheat, barley, corn & sorghum), sugarcane, sugar beet etc. or converting molasses-based distilleries to dual feedstock.

About the Scheme:

  1. Under the scheme, Government would bear interest subvention for five years including one year moratorium against the loan availed by project proponents from banks @ 6% per annum or 50% of the rate of interest charged by banks whichever is lower for setting up of new distilleries or expansion of existing distilleries or converting molasses-based distilleries to dual feedstock. This will bring an investment of about Rs. 40,000 crores.
  2. Due to upcoming investment in capacity addition / new distilleries, various new employment opportunities will be created in rural areas.
  3. For production of ethanol, there is sufficient availability of feed stocks; & Government has also fixed remunerative prices of ethanol derived from various feedstocks.
  4. Moreover, Oil Market Companies being the assured buyer for ethanol has given comfort for purchase of ethanol from distilleries for next 10 years. As such the upcoming ethanol projects are viable.

Benefits under the scheme:

  1. This scheme would not only facilitate diversion of excess sugar to ethanol but would also encourage farmers to diversify their crops to cultivate particularly maize/corn which needs less water compared to sugarcane and rice.
  2. It would enhance production of ethanol from various feedstocks thereby, facilitate in achieving blending targets of ethanol with petrol and would reduce import dependency on crude oil, thereby, realizing the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  3. It will also enhance income of farmers as setting up of new distilleries would not only increase demand of their crops but would assure farmers of getting better price for their crops.

Producing States:

Sugarcane and ethanol are produced mainly in three states viz Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Transporting ethanol to far flung States from these three states involves huge transportation costs.  By bringing new grain-based distilleries in the entire country would result in distributed production of ethanol and would save a lot of transportation cost and thus prevent delays in meeting the blending target & would benefit the farmers across the country.

Boosting Agricultural Economy:

With the vision to boost agricultural economy, to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel, to save foreign exchange on account of crude oil import bill & to reduce the air pollution, the Government has a fixed target of 10% blending of fuel grade ethanol with petrol by 2022 & 20% blending by 2030. It is expected that in the current ethanol supply year 2020-21, about 325 crore liters ethanol is likely to be supplied to OMCs to achieve 8.5 % blending levels. It is likely that we will be achieving a 10% blending target by 2022 with supply of 400 crore liters of ethanol.

With a view of support sugar sector and in the interest of sugarcane farmers, the Government has also allowed production of ethanol from B-Heavy Molasses, sugarcane juice, sugar syrup and sugar; and has been fixing the remunerative ex-mill price of ethanol derived from C-heavy molasses, B-heavy molasses and ethanol derived from sugarcane juice/ sugar/ sugar syrup for ethanol season. To increase production of fuel grade ethanol, Govt. is also encouraging distilleries to produce ethanol from maize; & rice available with Food Corporation of India.

How will Ethanol be produced?

To produce 700 crore liters of ethanol by sugar industry, about 60 Lakh Metric Tonne (LMT) of surplus sugar would be diverted to ethanol which would solve the problem of excess sugar, relieve sugar industry from the problem of storage of surplus sugar, & improve the revenue realization of sugar mills which will facilitate them in making timely payment of cane dues of sugarcane farmers.

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